Benitoite Gemstone & Information | Gemopedia by JTV | Gemopedia™

Benitoite

Benitoite is a single-source gemstone, meaning that so far, it has been found in only one place on Earth: San Benito County, California. Benitoite grows in relatively small crystals, only a portion of which are gem quality--further increasing the rarity and value of this unique gemstone. Gem-quality benitoite over one carat is incredibly difficult to come by. California's state gemstone, benitoite is especially prized by collectors for its strong dispersion, which rivals that of diamond in lighter material.

Colors

Blue, Violetish Blue, Colorless, Zoned With Light Blue, White, Very Rarely Pink

  • Benitoite classification

    CommonName
    Benitoite
    Species
    Benitoite
    Variety
    Colors
    Blue, Violetish Blue, Colorless, Zoned With Light Blue, White, Very Rarely Pink
    AlternateNames
    GemstoneGroups
    KeySeparations
    refractive index, birefringence, optic character, pleochroism and possibly fluorescence
    ClassificationComments
  • Benitoite chemistry & crystallography

    ChemicalName
    barium titanium silicate
    ChemicalFormula
    BaTiSi3O9
    Synthesis
    CrystalSystem
    Hexagonal
    ChemistryClassification
    Silicate
    Nature
    Natural
    Crystallinity
    Crystalline
    ChemistryComments
  • Benitoite optical properties

    Transparency
    Transparent
    Dispersion
    Strength: moderate fire Value: 0.044
    OpticalComments
    RefractiveIndex
    Over the Limit 1.757-1.804
    Birefringence
    0.047-0.047
    OpticCharacter
    Uniaxial
    OpticSign
    Positive
    PolariscopeReaction
    Doubly Refractive (DR)
    Fluorescence
    SWUV: Inert to strong bluish white
    LWUV: Inert to weak red
    CCFReaction
    Pleochroism
    Dichroic, strong blue and colorless
  • Benitoite characteristic physical properties

    Hardness
    6-6.5
    CharacteristicComments
    Streak
    White
    SpecificGravity
    3.61-3.69 Range:0.01/-0.07 Typical:3.68
    Toughness
    Fair
    Inclusions
    Benitoite may be color zoned with strong pleochroism.
    Luster
    Vitreous
    Stability
    Fracture
    Conchoidal, Uneven
    Cleavage
    Poor, in one direction